We are Chinese citizens living in the Czech Republic. Before our passports expired, we applied for renewals at the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Repubic, but the Chinese Embassy denied our applications because we practice Falun Gong. We had held a sit-in protest and candlelight vigil in front of the embassy, accepted an interview from a Czech TV station, distributed Falun Gong flyers, and participated in Falun Gong events.
We met with the Chinese Consul and the Chinese Consul Section director and explained the facts about Falun Gong to them. We sent an open letter to the ambassador and other officials at the Chinese Embassy, telling them that our sit-in front of the embassy was our way of trying to get the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to stop the persecution of Falun Gong and its practitioners. The candlelight vigil was to commemorate fellow practitioners who were tortured to death by the CCP. By distributing flyers, explaining the facts, and holding different events protesting the persecution we were helping people to understand Falun Gong and learn the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong, to help stop the persecution.
The consul and director said, "Your passport renewal application denial comes from high-level officials in China. You cannot return to China." We asked, "Can you issue a written statement stating the reason for denying our passport renewals? We will use it to deal with the Czech police." They said right away, "No, we can't issue any written statements." Later, we tried many times to meet them, but they evaded us. Since we could not meet CCP officials in the embassy, we sought assistance from an international immigration organization, and Mr. Vinder from the organization met with us. We explained to him what happened when we applied for our passport renewals at the Chinese Embassy. He said he would contact the embassy right away and asked us to wait for his reply. Two days later he told us, "Your problem is solved. The consul agreed to issue you new passports. You can go to talk with him."
We went to Chinese Embassy feeling that we had another chance. When we met with the consul and explained our situation, he said, "No, we did not agree to issue you new passports." We immediately returned to the international immigration organization and told Mr. Vinder, "You were deceived by the CCP embassy. The CCP never keeps its word." We told him what had happened with the Chinese consul. He called Czech Internal Affairs right away and explained our situation. We asked him, "If police officers want to check our identification, what should we do?" He said, "No problem. I will give you my cell phone number. You can tell the police to contact me."
Mr. Vinder then wrote us a letter and told us to go to Czech Internal Affairs to apply for passports. When we went to Internal Affairs to apply for passports, we presented Falun Gong information materials and explained our situation. The official at the Internal Affairs office said, "You have the freedom to have your own belief and practice the exercises. We welcome Falun Gong."
This is what we went through when we were denied the right to return to China and obtained Czech passports. The totalitarian CCP arbitrarily deprives Chinese citizens' of their rights and openly tramples on basic human rights. Chinese people living long-term outside of China have experienced that, when they have trouble or are in difficult times, the CCP and its embassies and consulates seldom offer help. In contrast, the Czech Republic, which just discarded a communist system and adopted democracy, respects human rights. When average foreign citizens facing persecution ask for help, the highest official of Internal Affairs is informed. The minister investigated the issue and made the decision himself. He stated in his decision: "The Chinese citizens applied for passport renewals before their current passports expired, in time for the Chinese Embassy to process their applications, but their applications were denied because they are Falun Gong practitioners and, in an interview with Czech TV, they expressed their views and opinions as Falun Gong practitioners. Based on articles 1 and 14 in the laws of equality and basic rights of freedom of movement, the executive administration examined the situation and has issued passports to the applicants."
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